fun things to do in Key West, Florida

There’s plenty of fun things to do in Key West. Get a taste for the fabulous food scene, go on a seaplane day trip, experience a dolphin-watching cruise, enjoy snorkeling in turquoise waters; Key West is a fantastic destination all year.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Key West right now.

1 – Explore Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West, Florida
Interior of Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Built-in 1866 to defend the nation’s southeastern coastline, the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park played essential roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. Tour this well-preserved fortress and bring US history to life. Located in the westernmost tip of Key West, this historic landmark offers also offer some fantastic snorkeling opportunities and excellent cycling trails.

2- Snorkel along North America’s only living coral reef

snorkeling trip, Key West, Florida

Looking for a fun day out in the water? Travel by catamaran and enjoy snorkeling in the clear blue waters of the Keys. Discover some of the most diverse coral reefs on the planet and meet sea turtles, parrotfishes, angelfishes, and many more aquatic friends.

3 – Set sail to watch the sunset over Key West from the deck of the schooner America 2.0

Schooner America 2.0 sunset sailing tour, Key West, Florida
credit to Classic Harbor Line

Enchant your evening with a stunning sunset sailing cruise aboard a classic schooner. Admire Key West landmarks from the water, including Mallory Square, Fort Zachary, and the Sand Key Lighthouse, to name a few. Enjoy drinks and appetizers throughout the cruise while taking in the sights.

4 – Enjoy kayaking through Key West Mangroves

mangrove kayak eco tour, Key West, Florida
family kayaking through the mangroves creeks

Experience an exciting kayak tour through the mangroves of Key West and see a variety of flora and fauna. Spot Florida wildlife in a natural habitat, learn more about why the mangroves are essential for the local ecosystem, and discuss how to become more sustainable in today’s world with your tour guide.

5 – Have a boat party with your friends

party boat, Key West, Florida

Cut loose on one of Key West’s most exciting party boats. Indulge in tasty cocktails, see the stunning coastal views of Key West, and have fun with your friends while grooving along to some beats. Boat parties are perfect for celebrating a special moment.

6 – Take a fantastic dolphin-watching cruise

dolphin watching, Key West, Florida

Cruise to the Key West National Wildlife Refuge on a modern catamaran and spot wild dolphins in their natural environment. Marvel as the dolphin swim closer to the boat and learn more about the ocean wildlife with an expert marine biologist.

7 – Discover Key West on a hop-on hop-off trolley bus tour

Old Town trolley tour in Key West, Florida

Hop-on and off at 13 convenient stops and explore the best that Key West has to offer. Tour the city and visit more than 100 points of interest. Choose a 1- or 2-day ticket to suit your schedule and discover some of the island’s most sacred sites with ease.

8 – Feel the thrill of a water ride on a jet ski

jetski in Key West, Florida

Looking for a genuine adrenaline-pumping experience? Book a jet ski tour and add an adrenalin rush to your Key West holiday. Ride around on Florida’s tropical waters and see some of the most unique scenery. Fun guaranteed!

9 – Visit the famous U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Museum, Key West, Florida

Explore the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham museum and learn about one of the country’s most decorated ships. Serving in active duty from 1936 to 1988, the Cutter Ingham is a quintessential portrait of U.S. coast guard history, a must-visit site for every history buff.

10 – Discover the wonders of Key West by bike

bike tour in Key West, Florida

Cycle around the city’s historic Old Town, pedal on easygoing bike paths and see the very best that Key West has to offer. A bike tour is a perfect introduction for Key West first-time visitors.

11 – Enjoy a culinary adventure through the Key West Historic Seaport

food tour, Key West, Florida
plate with crab legs in a restaurant in Key West

Experience the sights and sounds of Key West’s charming Seaport neighborhood and fall in love with the city’s flavors. Indulge yourself in the seaport’s riveting history and taste local seafood dishes, Cuban cuisine, and, of course, the famous key lime pie.

12 – Discover the wonder of the aquatic animal world at  Key West Aquarium

Key West Aquarium, Key West, Florida

Located in Mallory Square, Key West Aquarium is one of the city’s most beloved attractions, offering the perfect outing for families, animal lovers, and those with a big curiosity. Feed sharks, touch cow nose rays, meet the alligators, and learn why sea turtles are endangered.

13 – Aboard the Trolley of the Doomed and learn about Key West’s supernatural history

Ghosts & Gravestones Tour of Key West, Florida

Hop aboard the Trolley of the Doomed and hear spooky tales as you travel the dark and narrow streets of Key West Old Town. Explore some of the island’s most haunted sites and learn about Key West’s dark side history.

14 – Have fun at Key West’s world-famous Fantasy Fest

Fantasy Fest, Key West, Florida

Held annually in the last week of October, the Fantasy Fest festival is the biggest event of the year in the Florida Keys, attracting thousands of fun-loving party-goers from all corners of the globe. With a parade tradition stretching as far back as 1979, everyone gets decked out in the most colorful, creative, and outrageous costumes they may cobble together – a lot of fun guaranteed!

15 – Surprise your beloved with a romantic dinner at Latitude’s Restaurant

Latitude's Restaurant, Key West, Florida
credit to Latitude’s Restaurant

No visit to Key West is truly complete with a dinner at the award-winning Latitude’s Restaurant. Enjoy a wide range of delicious dishes as well as offering 5-star service and breathtaking sunset views. Please note that advanced reservations are required.

16 – Go on a parasailing ride above the dazzling waters of the Keys

parasailing in Key West, Florida

Do you wish to try something different during your time in Key West? Experience a parasailing ride and get unparalleled views of the Florida Keys as you soar above – one of the most thrilling adventure activities in Key West.

17 – Experience Key West’s traditional drinking scene on a fun pub crawl

Key West craft cocktail crawl

Stroll through Key West’s craftiest bars and have fun with your friends crawling from bar to bar. Discover amazing venues, including cocktails bars, music bars, local breweries, and historical lounges.

18 – Watch an independent film at the Tropic Cinema

Tropic Cinema, Key West, Florida

Are you a film addict? Head to Tropic Cinema art-house and get your ultimate film fix.  Screenings are usually limited so check the calendar in advance to not miss the chance to see brilliant independent films.

19 – Tour the historic Harry S. Truman Little White House

Harry S. Truman Little White House, Key West, Florida
The exterior of the Harry S. Truman Little White House, which has been used by American presidents for official state business.

Visit the Harry S. Truman Little White House and learn the history behind Truman’s presidency. Explore the rooms where Truman held meetings and discussed government matters and discover an essential part of Florida’s history.

20 – Fly in style in a helicopter over the Florida Keys

helicopter tour, Key West, Florida
credit to Air Adventure

Fly like a rockstar above Florida’s most beautiful landscape in a luxurious helicopter. View Keys’ best beaches, admire the mangrove maze, spot dolphins, and discover parts of the island that are only accessible by air.

21 – Dine at the legendary Hard Rock Cafe Key West

Hard Rock Cafe, Key West, Florida

Visit the iconic Hard Rock Cafe Key West for great American food and thirst-quenching drinks wrapped in a unique musical experience. Set within a beautiful historical building on the historic Duval Street, Hard Rock Cafe Key West is the perfect place to dine in style and feel like a star.

22 – Experience a world-class fishing day trip

fishing day trip, Key West, Florida

Key West fishing charters have built up a strong reputation among anglers from around the globe. Key West is nothing less than an angler’s paradise, offering excellent deep-sea fishing opportunities. Experience a fantastic fishing trip on a beautiful boat with an expert crew and catch several different species, including sailfishes, marlins, mako sharks, red snappers, and giant groupers.

23 – Visit the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Key West, Florida

Wrecking was the foundation of Key West’s economy during the 18th century. Step back into time as you learn all about the region’s maritime past with a trip to the fantastic Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum. You will see real treasures salvaged from sinking ships and hear daring tales of ‘wrecking’ – a fun experience for the entire family.

24 – Visit the San Carlos Institute

San Carlos institute, Key West, Florida

Established in 1871 by Cuban exiles, the San Carlos Institute aims to preserve the Cuban people’s language, culture, and traditions. It also helped unite the exiled Cuban community and has been considered the cradle of Cuba’s independence movement. It is a Key West must-visit site for every history buff.

25 – Pamper your loved one with a special dinner date at the Better Than Sex dessert restaurant

Better Than Sex desserts restaurant, Key West, Florida

Looking for a romantic dining experience? Pay a visit to the Better Than Sex desserts restaurant, the perfect spot for celebrating Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or any other romantic occasion. Satisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy a romantic moment with your loved one.

26 – See the underwater world without getting wet

glass bottom tour, Key West, Florida

You don’t need to go scuba diving to admire the underwater world. Go on a glass-bottom boat tour from Key West and keep your eyes peeled for some exciting sea life. See North America’s only living coral barrier reef and admire stunning tropical fishes, beautiful colorful coral, sharks, and sea turtles. Relax on the sun deck on the way back while sipping a tropical cocktail.

27 – Enjoy a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park day trip from Key West, Florida

Experience the day trip of a lifetime, filled with beachcombing, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, wildlife viewing, and sightseeing! Only accessible via boat or seaplane, the secluded islands of Dry Tortugas National Park offers an unforgettable day trip for the entire family.

28 – Step back in time and visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West, Florida

Nestled among towering palm trees on the western end of the island in the Old Town Key West, Hemingway’s former home is one of Key West’s most popular attractions. Wander around the lush garden and discover the well-preserved rooms filled with Hemingway memorabilia, including photos, books, and furniture – a must-see for literary buffs visiting the Keys.

29 – Watch the thrilling Key West Offshore Racing World Championships

Key West Offshore Racing World Championships, Florida

Speed, power, and fun come to Key West every year. Watch the world’s top offshore boat racers fly across the Key West Harbor – the most exciting Key West event. To keep up to date with all the latest news, visit Race World Offshore.

30 – Surround yourself with hundreds of colorful butterflies

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Florida

Stroll through a magical environment filled with hundreds of the most beautiful winged creatures in nature. Featuring 60 types of butterflies in a magical setting, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is one of the island’s most popular attractions for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

31 – See the nightly Key West’s Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

show of street artists, Mallory Square, Key West, Florida
fire eater walking on hot coals during the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

Looking for a fun night out? Gather at Mallory Square and admire Key West’s famous sunset surrounded by extraordinary street performers. Watch jugglers, local musicians, clowns, and magicians – an incredible cultural experience.

32 – Pepe’s Café

Pepe’s Café, key West, Florida

Do you wish to dine in an old-school setting? Founded in 1909, Pepe’s Café is billed as the oldest eating-house in the Florida Keys. Situated in the Old Town neighborhood of Key West, the restaurant serves excellent island cuisine and delicious cocktails.

33 – Visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum and let out your inner treasure hunter

Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, Key West, Florida

Are you a Pirates of the Caribbean fan? Explore the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum and learn how Mel Fisher and his crew found the biggest prize in treasure-hunting history, $450 million worth of gold, jewels, coins, and artifacts. Other ancient Spanish ship’s treasures are on display in the museum.

34 – Taste some of Florida Keys finest rums

Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, Florida
The thermometer on a copper pot for the distillation of alcohol

Discover how Key West First Legal Rum Distillery uses centuries-old distillation techniques to transform sugarcane into smooth white rum. Enjoy tasting various award-winning rums and learn how to make Cuban mojitos.

35 – Get to know the sea turtles of the Keys

Key West Turtle Museum, Florida

Visit the Key West Turtle Museum and learn about the protection efforts to save the endangered sea turtles. This is a great place to explore the unique maritime history of Key West.

36 – Encounter chatty parrots at Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden

Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden, Key West, FloridaMeet the environmental artist Nancy in her magical birds’ sanctuary and enjoy the opportunity to meet and interact with rescued parrots and macaws. Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden is an unbelievable place that all holidaymakers in Key West should visit.

37 – Scuba dive a Cold War-era ship

Vandenberg wreck diving, Key West, Florida

Key West is home to world-class diving throughout the island. Located off the coast of Key West, the USNS Vandenberg wreck has become a popular site for divers from all over the world. Considered as the world’s second-largest artificial reef, the Vandenberg wreck is a fantastic playground to explore.

38 – Visit the iconic Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, Key West, Florida

Dating back to the 1840s and named after the well-known ornithologist John James Audubon, the Audubon House Gallery offers an impressive collection of Audubon artworks. For nature lovers, stroll the lush grounds and admire beautiful orchids and other tropical plants.

39 – Stand at the southernmost point in America

Southernmost point buoy, Key West, Florida
The Key West, Florida Buoy sign marking the southernmost point on the continental USA and distance to Cuba.

Snap a photo with the colorful buoy marking the southernmost point of the United States. Visited by thousands of people each day, the iconic Southernmost Point Buoy is a must-visit landmark for every Key West first time visitors.

40 – Journey into the world of the native plants and animals of the Keys

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Key West, Florida
credit to FHWA

Located in the heart of Key West, the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center features exhibits that cover the on-land and underwater world of the native plants and animals of Florida. It is a fantastic place to bring the kids and learn how to protect and conserve Florida’s ecosystem.

41 – Taste Floridian-Caribbean cuisine at the quirky Blue Heaven

Blue Heaven restaurant, Key West, Florida

Filled with rich Key West history, Blue Heaven is one of the unique Key West restaurants. Grab a seat under the shaded canopy, enjoy watching chickens roaming, and dine in a funky setting with live music. Don’t miss to order their famous key lime pie that has been featured on many TV shows.

42 – Climb the top of Key West lighthouse

Key West lighthouse, Florida
The historic and popular center, lighthouse, and Duval Street in downtown Key West.

Built-in 1825 to help the ships navigate the Lower Keys’ shallow and hazardous reefs, the Key West lighthouse is one of the oldest structures and an important attraction of the island. Today, you may walk up the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the breathtaking views.

43 – Visit the Fort East Martello Museum

Fort East Martello Museum. Key West, Florida

Fort East Martello is nowadays the home of the Fort East Martello Museum, featuring historical exhibits about the 19th and 20th centuries. Discover the fantastic collection of artifacts from the Civil War, see the fantastic metal sculptures of Stanley Papio, learn about the wrecking industry that shaped the Florida Keys, as well as meet the Ghosts of East Martello and the infamous Robert the Doll.

44 – Sloppy Joe’s bar

Sloppy Joe's Bar, Key West, Florida
Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Duval Street a landmark in Key West

Want to get your alcohol fix? Established on the day prohibition was repealed, Sloppy Joe’s Bar is one of Key West’s most famous bars. Bring with your friends, grab a drink and enjoy a taste of the laid-back Key West lifestyle.

45 – Visit Key West’s oldest wood frame vernacular house

The Oldest House Museum, Key West, Florida
credit to Old Island Restoration Foundation

Located on Duval Street, the Oldest House Museum is the oldest house in South Florida, still standing. Built-in 1829 by a ship’s captain, it is a true hidden gem for architecture lovers. It also offers the perfect setting for a memorable event such as a wedding, a birthday, or a private party.

46 – Enjoy a unique floating Tiki bar cruise

Cruisin' Tikis Key West boat party, Florida

Want to give an unbelievable twist to your key West holiday? Book a Tiki bar boat, take your friends out on the water and watch the sunset in style. Departure points are ‘Mellow Ventures Café’ and ‘Hurricane Hole Marina.’

47 – Explore the Key West Museum of Art & History

Key West Museum of Art & History, Florida

No visit to the Keys would be complete without a visit to the award-winning Key West Museum of Art & History. Located in Mallory Square, and once the city’s post office, this four-story red brick building features an impressive collection of artworks that relate the Florida Keys’ history.

We hope you have enjoyed of selection of fun things to do in Key West. Do you have other fun activities to recommend? Do not hesitate to comment below. Enjoy Key West!